The stage was set: Jon Jones finally faced off against Daniel Cormier in a fight that was two years in the making. A redemption tour that had one goal: shock the world. Jones did that last night at UFC 214 when he beat Daniel Cormier to reclaim the UFC Light Heavyweight Title.
As the night went on, many at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California were waiting in anticipation. When “Bones” Jones (23-1) walked out to, “The Champ is Here”, the place was glued to the former champion. Unlike Ronda Rousey at UFC 207, Jones looked and felt confident. After Cormier (19-2) walked into the octagon and the doors closed, the place erupted. The two touched gloves which was interesting. Despite the issues these two have had, they still somewhat respect one another.
Once John McCarthy signalled for the fight to start, it was on!
Cormier seemingly controlled the first two rounds, not getting as emotional as their last fight. He even punched Jones’ mouthpiece right out of his mouth. It looked as if he finally had Jones right where he wanted him. Jones did his best however to avoid Cormier’s game, and it ended up working. Early in the third round, Jones landed a vicious head kick that wobbled Cormier. From there, it was all over. The challenger dropped Cormier and started hitting heavy ground and pound shots. McCarthy gave Cormier a fighting chance, but nothing could be done. Jones knocked Cormier out to regain the Light Heavyweight Title, a belt he never lost.
After the fight, an emotional Jones thanked his fans and his haters. He turned to a distraught (and probably concussed) Cormier and gave him all the recognition in the world. Before going for a hug and a kiss on the head, Jones stated:
“I want to thank this opportunity to thank Daniel Cormier for being my biggest rival and greatest motivator. He’s a model champion, a great human being. He’s a true champion for the rest of his life.”
What a great way to end the night, but Jones wasn’t done. He called out current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar for a fight. There have been rumors of a superfight between the two and it looks like Jones drew first blood.
What’s next for Daniel Cormier? The former champion is reaching 40, and many don’t know what he will do next. Retirement is on the table, but I can’t see Cormier going out like that. He gave it his all and came out with more people respecting him than before, including Jones. I’m sure we will be seeing more of D.C. down the line, even without a trilogy fight to look forward to.
Just like he had hoped, Jones’ win was inspiring to many. He proved to many that by fighting through personal demons, anything is possible. Another thing he proved was that he is the absolute best at what he does. It doesn’t even seem like a question now, considering his accolades:
Putting all of his issues aside, Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters to ever step foot in a MMA ring. He proved that this past Saturday. What he does now is what may define him. There can be no more distractions, and no more doubt. I believe he is ready for the challenge. This time last year, saying the name, “Jon Jones” was taboo. After this weekend, it’s a name that signifies greatness once again.